Amid violent protests in northeast and other parts of the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday dropped a big hint that "some changes" can be made in the amended Citizenship Act, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, according toa report in The Times Of India.
"Conrad Sangma (Meghalaya chief minister) and his ministers met me on Friday and informed me about the problems they are facing... I tried to make them understand that there is no issue. When they insisted some changes need to be made to the law, I asked them to meet me after Christmas. I have assured them we will hold constructive discussions on the matter and come up with solutions to Meghalaya’s problems," Shah said at a rally in Jharkhand’s Giridih.
The controversial act has triggered a wave of violent protests in several states, including Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and West Bengal. While protests are being held in most parts of the country, they are more visible and violent in north-eastern states.
People in northeastern states claim they will be 'overrun' by migrants from Bangladesh. Thousands of troops have been deployed and at least two protesters were shot dead by police in Guwahati.
Internet and SMS services in Assam have been suspended with a curfew in Guwahati and Shilong. Opposition parties across India say the bill is discriminatory and violates the Constitutional ethos. Congress President Sonia Gandhi says the Bill will destroy the soul of India.
The government, on the other hand, alleges that the Congress party is behind the violence. During a rally Dhanbad, Shah had Saturday accused Congress of instigating violence in northestern states.
"When we tabled the CAB, Congress seemed to have got a stomach ache. For years, people who faced religious persecution in other countries were living like refugees. Shouldn’t they be made citizens? Congress says we are anti-Muslim… We brought in CAB and they instigated violence in the northeastern states," the home minister said.